wretched hive of scum and villainy

Street Preachers Shocked By Naked Effrontery of Rude North Carolina Sinners

It's a dialogue, right?Somehow, we completely missed the news that Asheville, NC, is one big reeking “cesspool of sin,” according to State Sen. Jim Forrester, one of the chief backers of that state’s idiotic ban on gay marriage and all civil unions. But apparently hordes of street evangelists heard about it, and so they descended on Asheville’s annual Belle Chere music and arts festival to save some souls. Astonishingly, many of the filthy hippies attending the fair did not take very kindly to being told they were going to hell, leading to scenes of lewdness, depravity, and gleeful trolling (for example, the handmade sign above reads “Teach Children to Worship Satan” — it’s a worthy effort, though we’ve seen better).

According to Christian News Network, “the event has become more perverse with each passing year.” Asheville resident and evangelist Tom Pethtel, spurned by the heathen crowds, described festival-goers as having “an underlying real dark feel to people’s reaction when they hear people preaching or when someone tries to hand them a Gospel tract.” Another, missionary Jesse Boyd, expressed incredulity that Americans in large groups could be drunken louts, even when offered the precious gift of salvation by a man shouting at them through a bullhorn:

“I really believe I can understand just Lot’s vexation as described in II Peter 2:7-8. Last night, I attempted to preach on the love of God as displayed toward us in Christ. The crowd became so vile that it seemed as if such had already been given over to a reprobate mind.”

A number of brazen hussies responded to the preaching by flashing the evangelists with a wicked display of their dirtypillows, while “men would walk around in their underwear or completely naked.” Unspecified “public sex acts” also occurred, and “other lewd acts were performed in front of women and children.” (The Aristocrats!)

The report also claims that members of the crowd assaulted several preachers while police stood by doing nothing; Jesse Boyd and another unnamed evangelist claim that a police officer told him that the chief of police had given orders telling officers to not intervene. When the two “expressed concern” about the lewdness and assaults, the officer supposedly told them “Don’t come back to Asheville.”

Despite the inflamatory nature of this assertion, no sources other than the Christian News Network have as yet mentioned it, and it does not appear that even their reporter, Heather Clark, bothered to ask the police department about the alleged order. She does dutifully pass on that Boyd and the other evangelist say that a police commander “advised that North Carolina has no laws against public drunkenness or toplessness, and that if any of the Christians attempted to defend themselves against assault from an event-goer, both would go to jail.” Good solid reporting! Clark does manage to identify one incident that might be an assault: “a senior citizen was seen attempting to cover a woman walking around topless, but several officers restrained her from covering the woman.”

Your Wonkette certainly does not condone assaulting anything other than street preachers’ delicate sensibilities. We do, of course, stand solidly behind the people selling “Asheville: Cesspool of SIN” T-shirts, and the gentleman trolling the evangelists while wearing a traffic cone on his head. And given fundamentalists’ masochistic desire to see the rest of the world as wicked filth — “it was a true joy to preach with dear brothers in Christ and to stand alongside men of God in the face of pure evil,” said Jesse Boyd — we can only conclude that continuing to jeer at them is a pretty good deal for everyone.

[Christian News Network]

About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom
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  1. Barb_

    Ah, good times! Cracking open your bible and circling the commandments as you see them being broken.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      Well, fully half of them are requirements to pander to the sky god. A couple others we all recognize as legit, e.g., thou shalt not kill.

      And the rest have to do with with constraining your peepee.

      Shoulda been about 7 commandments shorter. Think of all the chisel time that would have saved.

      1. doloras

        Technically, Jehovah started off as a mountain god, a thunder god and a war god. Kind of like Thor without the redneck charm.

    2. Nibbler of Niblonia

      people openly consuming shellfish, wearing clothing of different fabrics, dogs and cats living together, complete chaos!

      1. Barb_

        Nibbler gets to toss out the opening pitch of the first stone!
        I'm giving your response a gold star.

    3. redarmyzombie

      "Let's see, let's see…Hmmm…'Thou Shalt Not Spank Thy Neighbors Monkey'…now which one was that?"

    1. OneYieldRegular

      Yes, well, it was the guy wearing nothing but a Chick-Fil-A fried poultry patty as a fig leaf that really got the Bible-thumpers upset.

    1. An_Outhouse

      I attend a music festival in that area every April. Its the only place I've considered moving to – really beautiful. Maybe when I retire.

      1. succalina

        I've been to Belle Chere – fun times, best hippie-peeps, great arts scene. The Xtians were'nt so militant back then. They would preach from a street corner and we would laugh and laugh. I think Asheville maybe the sanest part of NC.

    2. bikerlaureate

      It is well worth the drive. Beautiful mountains all around. Socially, it's like an island of sanity…

      I want the t-shirt mentioned in the article, for realz.

    1. PhilippePetain

      Seriously, this is my favorite thing!!!!!! He talks like this and does not understand why people think he is a huge twit! Hahahahahahaha. No snark, sorry; that statement is unsnarkable!

  2. Goonemeritus

    “Jesse Boyd, expressed incredulity that Americans in large groups could be drunken louts, even when offered the precious gift of salvation by a man shouting at them through a bullhorn:”

    Tell me about it I get nothing but scorn and derision when I try to convert people to the joys of Anarcho-syndicalism in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      I always find that the most effective method of changing someone's mind is by shouting at them through electrical amplification devices.

      1. bikerlaureate

        The louder, the truer.

        (That should probably be in all caps but my left index finger is lazy and reprobate today.)

      1. PhilippePetain

        Oh goodness, that would be amazing. Punching bags are great for honing your skills.

        Verbal skills! I mean verbal skills!

  3. prommie

    As God is my witness, from this day forward and forever, I will make naked effrontery my goal, my one desire, my ambition.

    1. FakaktaSouth

      And you know what? This will make any day you spent in Asheville a wonderful wonderful time. It is an oasis of beautiful, liberal, intellectual, often very gay, artsy flamboyance. And the property values are through the ROOF. I mean it is WAY expensive but full of culture and restaurants and festivals and love. No wonder these abject morons are trying to kill it.

  4. ChernobylSoup

    I kept expecting the Christian News Network to showcase a drunken friar giving his two pence about the situation.

  5. freakishlywrong

    the officer supposedly told them “Don’t come back to Asheville.”
    Just moved vaca from NYC to Asheville.

      1. Fraudulently_Joe

        I have an awesome friend who lives down there who down there, and straddles the fine line between hippie and redneck. Going down there for her wedding was my first exposure to "burlesque" in life. The particular show was actually kinda godawful, but nevermind that.

  6. brabbler1

    I go every single year with my family to listen to music and hang out with friends. I missed the lewdness. But there were gay people kissing in front of the preachers (the GOD HATES FAGS types) and one girl walking around topless, which is legal in NC.

        1. James Michael Curley

          "New York City, NY
          Noon to 3PM – meet at Bryant Park and March to Times Square and back"

          That's like a block and a half a block and right past the Midtown Precinct. Go Girl!

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      Sort of like the fundies and Lubavitchers who show up like clockwork at the NYC Gay Pride Parade every year, to wave their sad little signs and stare longingly disapprovingly at the near-naked bodies on display.

      Their presence seems to inspire the boys to be especially lewd, for their benefit.

  7. Estproph

    I really believe that the laws banning homosexuality and same-sex marriage are the right way to go. Nobody wants to live around filthy scum sickos like that, and those laws will encourage the gays to move away so that they can be around decent people.

  8. Terry

    " When the two “expressed concern” about the lewdness and assaults, the officer supposedly told them “Don’t come back to Asheville.”"

    See? There are still good things in North Carolina. Don't let the crazies screw up the whole State's reputation.

    1. MacRaith

      However, speaking as someone born and raised in NC, I think it's only fair to make it clear to everyone that places like Asheville, Carrboro and Durham are oases of sanity in a vast desert.

      Of course, it could be worse. It could be South Carolina, sanity's version of the Empty Quarter.

      1. Terry

        Beautiful coast, too. I'm partial to the Beaufort area.

        I lived in S.C. for a couple years. There are islands of sanity there, too. Just smaller ones.

    2. anniegetyerfun

      Are we sure they were really police officers and not male strippers just awaiting their cue?

  9. prommie

    This was every day in front of the library at the University of Hogtown, where the young Prommie was versed in the ways of fornication and wickedness. The reverend Jed Smock would berate prommie and the other godless reprobates for our fornications, and we would chant "oral" and "anal" in the fashion that we would chant "orange" and "blue" at the football games which were the University's real reason for being, those, and the fornication.

    1. chicken_thief

      I vaguely recall something like that where I went to school, but those years have taken a toll on the long term memory.

      1. Terry

        My undergrad had a guy with a bull horn from the Kampus Krusade for Khrist, excuse me, Campus Crusade for Christ, set up on the sidewalk along the main road on campus. He'd berate women as they went by for dressing like "whores" and actually made some of them cry. Used to break albums with hammers, too. Probably would have burned books, but the campus police would have intervened if there was fire.

        He's another one who has a special place in Hell just waiting for him.

        1. prommie

          Yes! Brother Jed was of this Campus Crusade, and his wife, Sister Cindy, who found Jesus in a Crystal parking lot!

    2. tessiee

      There was a Preacher Jed at UNC, too. The school paper wrote an article about him, and I wrote a letter to the paper asking if there weren't anybody doing anything constructive, instead of just harassing people going about their business, that they could write an article about.

  10. rhubarbpie2

    Finally, the kind of police state I can support:

    “a senior citizen was seen attempting to cover a woman walking around topless, but several officers restrained her from covering the woman.”

  11. MumbletyAvian

    Funny, I've had a good steeping in their Holy Scripture cradle to now, and I don't remember the Son of Man commanding anyone to go yak at crowds of strangers with a portable pedestal like a carnival barker.

    Modern-day Pharisees: who've missed the part that indicated their Chosen One made his mark *attracting* crowds not repelling them like an Old Testament pestilence.

    1. Charlie_Foxtrot

      "Preach the gospel at all times — If necessary, use words."

      Full disclosure: this is just a lazy re-tweet from @SaintFrancisOfAssisi.

      I've looked and looked, and I can't figure out the Biblical source of the credo "I am a Christian because Jesus hates all the same people I do."

    1. ChernobylSoup

      The ancient Olympics featured events related to war fighting activities. How the hell did any civilization that came up with dressage survive to the modern era?

  12. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Jesse Boyd has not been heard from since, but a pillar of salt bearing an uncanny resemblance to Jesse has been spotted on the southbound side of Route 25A.

  13. BaldarTFlagass

    "When the two “expressed concern” about the lewdness and assaults, the officer supposedly told them “Don’t come back to Asheville.”

    When I read something like this, it momentarily restores my hope and faith in humanity. But I'm sure the next post will shoot that down in flames.

  14. OneYieldRegular

    I was stuck in North Carolina dealing with a dying relative 10 years ago, and every day the paper would be full of screechy, sex-terrified letters from people like this. I vividly remember one letter writer upset by the "lewd and improper" dancing of "scantily-clad" cheerleaders participating in a parade to which he'd taken his kids. He ended his letter by somehow tying this shameless effrontery to 9/11, concluding that "healing is clearly still far, far away."

  15. DonnyKerabotsos

    "Last night, I attempted to preach on the love of God as displayed toward us in Christ."

    Well, Christ didn't promise you it would be easy, did he? I mean, look what they did to him.

    Instead of PREACHING constantly at people minding their own happy business at a music and arts festival, perhaps these evangels could instead try to PRACTICE the love of God as displayed toward them in Christ.

    You know, for a change.

    1. MumbletyAvian

      Why, if they'd all just practice, *practice*, PRACTICE as advocated, they'd undoubtedly wind up at Carnegie Hall. All in one location, together. Whereby … you know . ..

  16. Monsieur_Grumpe

    True Story!

    I remember once in wonderful Battle Creek MI the local wingsnutz were getting their undies in bunch over an Ozzy Osbourne concert. They stood at the entrance of the concert handing out little tiny red bibles which mostly wound up on the ground. It happened to be raining fairly hard and the bible’s red ink was running all over the side walk. That made the concert just a little bit better for me. Ozzy was sick and his voice was little ragged. He ended the concert by saying “God bless you”.

    1. chicken_thief

      "He ended the concert by saying “God bless you”."

      I am truly impressed that you are fluent in Ozzy.

  17. BaldarTFlagass

    So they want to go out and preach at the bacchanalia? I guess fair's fair; these revelers need to go dance naked and get to fucking and committing other lewd acts in the aisle during Sunday services at Tom Pethtel and Jesse Boyd's church.

  18. chicken_thief

    "“other lewd acts were performed in front of women and children.”

    No admission fee?! Fuck-n-aye, I'm THERE!

  19. larrykat

    What?! North Carolina cops passed up on some freestyle hippie-beatin'? That right there puts the lie to this whole story.

  20. DerrickWildcat

    Lobotomy 1:11
    "While they were eating, Jesus grabbed a Chicken Sandwich, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."

    1. chascates

      "It's 'cock-a-doodle-do' not 'dude'll do a cock'!
      (Chaz the Intolerant Chicken from Conan show.)

  21. elviouslyqueer

    “We are trying to get the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department or the NC State Troopers to help. No one cares. There is no protection for the law-abiding citizen or any Christian.”

    Awwwwww. The poow widdle Cwistian pweacher got his widdle feewings hurt.

    DEIT: Was this guy in Asheville? Inquiring minds, and all that.

    1. bikerlaureate

      "Protection" meaning the same thing as "religious freedom", defined most excellently on this mommy blog yesterday.

    1. thatsitfortheother1

      I'm fond of Pussy Riot.
      But I don't think we'll be hearing much out of them in the near future.

  22. ManchuCandidate

    Sweet Zombie Jeebus, none of us non-believers go to church and ruin your Sunday service by disrupting it.

    The reason the cops don't give a fuck:
    1) You're assholes
    2) The money the city gets from such festivals is worth more than your idea of sin
    3) You're assholes.

  23. chascates

    Asheville is also one of the few places in the Deep South to have great beer bars and microbreweries.

      1. chascates

        I believe they have a couple of beer and BBQ festivals each year that are highly recommended. My beer mags hold Asheville in high regard in a part of the world RC Cola and SWEET tea reign supreme.

    1. MosesInvests

      I remember one great vegetarian restaurant on Wall St.-downstairs (fronting the next street down the mountain) was a brew pub.

  24. Eve8Apples

    "Clark does manage to identify one incident that might be an assault: “a senior citizen was seen attempting to cover a woman walking around topless, but several officers restrained her from covering the woman.”

    No red-blooded male cop worth his badge and gun is going to let grandma cover-up his complimentary view of young, firm dirtypillows.

  25. finallyhappy

    So the reason I will be in Atlanta for the Wonkettathon there does occasionally call out these nuts telling us we are sinners. I think this year,I will tell them that I am also a Jew (a fact) and so am already doomed to eternal hell.

  26. scottgoode

    That's it, I'm moving to Asheville.

    Funny story: I used to do clinic defense in Charlotte many years ago (mid 90s). There was some group from Asheville who would leave tracts from some Asheville church that would go on and on about witches and covens and all that silliness like they actually believed it. It was insane. it seems the city is full of hippies and Jeebus people and while I can stand neither of them it is within 50 miles of my favorite place on earth. Now just need to find a job.

  27. Gorillionaire

    Oh man, I love Asheville. Love it. Jimmie Rodgers used to gig at the Hotel there, later Doc Watson regularly gigged there. Zelda Fitzgerald died there. Great record stores. Brews. Actual good vegetarian places. The Orange Peel gets awesome gigs like King Crimson and Guided By Voices. It's almost like I don't want anyone else to know about it because it is still kind of unfussy and nice but I guess now it's marked territory.

  28. Antispandex

    "It was terrible, I was standin' there yellin' at the top of my lungs that they was going to hell for bein' sodomites and whores and such, and they was not even payin' me no never mind. Oh and I tell you what, I could barely concentrate because of the skimpy clothes them girls had on too. Have you ever tried to preach with a boner? It anit right!"

  29. Guppy

    Don’t come back to Asheville.

    And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

    Sounds like both Caesar and Jesus are in complete agreement.

  30. An_Outhouse

    “They had a whole evening-long display of women bearing their breasts [and] performing lewd acts … and policemen simply standing around and watching.”

    I'm sure they were doing more than standing around and watching

  31. John_2_0

    Sen Jim Forrester, like Generalissimo Franco, is still dead. He died less than a month after making those comments, actually.

    Asheville, of course, is still awesome.

  32. qwerty42

    …Another, missionary Jesse Boyd, expressed incredulity that Americans in large groups could be drunken louts, even when offered the precious gift of salvation by a man shouting at them through a bullhorn …
    Probably should stay away from college football games.

  33. SaraJBenincasa

    I fucking love Asheville. Lived there for two years, got a tattoo of NC with a heart over Asheville on my upper arm. Also, hi, assholes. I've missed you.

  34. fuflans

    here is a true thing:

    we were supposed to be in asheville last week with a production of a fairly graphic play about a gay hate crime. only we got a better financial offer.

    i haz SUCH a sad i can't tell you.

  35. CharlieHerndon

    Your readers might be interested to know that God (who has repeatedly expressed his love of Asheville) struck down the self-righteous State Sen. Jim Forrester shortly after he besmirched this lovely city; that's right – he killed him dead!

  36. bonghitforjesus

    Never have I felt such warm fuzzy schadenfreude. The fact that this took place just over the mountain is the cherry on top of the girl scout. Keep Asheville weird!

  37. ttommyunger

    Nothing like a little modesty regarding the naughty bits. I had a little gal from Ashville who was so shy she always covered my eyes with her ass while she blew me.

  38. Smithboy

    Asheville is a beautiful mountain town that has a very conservative and very liberal population. While in nearby Greenville SC I was approached by a street preacher who asked me if I knew where I was going to spend eternity. I told him I didn't even know where I was going to have breakfast much less where I was going to spend eternity.

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